University Affiliated Research Center

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A University Affiliated Research Center (UARC) is a strategic United States Department of Defense (DoD) research center associated with a university. UARCs are formally established by the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E), Office of the Secretary of Defense. UARCs were developed to ensure that essential engineering and technology capabilities of particular importance to the DoD are maintained. Although UARCs receive sole source funding under the authority of 10 U.S.C. Section 2304(c)(3)(B), they may also compete for science and technology work unless precluded from doing so by their DoD UARC contracts.


These nonprofit organizations maintain essential research, development and engineering "core" capabilities; maintain long-term strategic relationships with their DoD sponsors; and operate in the public interest, free from real or perceived conflicts of interest. Collaboration with the educational and research resources available at their universities enhances each UARC’s ability to meet the needs of their sponsors.

University affiliated laboratories have been conducting research and development for the United States Navy since 1942, beginning with the creation of the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins. The most recent UARC, created in 2012, is the National Strategic Research Institute at the University of Nebraska, which is performing research for the United States Strategic Command.

Occasionally, the creation of UARCs have been controversial. For example, in July 2004 the Navy proposed the University of Hawaii at Mānoa as a UARC. In response, some students and others protested with a six-day sit in at the campus administration building.

List of centers[edit]

Current UARCs and their sponsors are:


  1. University of California at Santa Barbara: Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies[1]
  2. University of California at Santa Cruz: UARC at Ames Research Center[1]
  3. University of Southern California: Institute for Creative Technologies[1]
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology: Georgia Tech Research Institute[1][2]
  5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies[1]


  1. Utah State University: Space Dynamics Laboratory[1]*


  1. Johns Hopkins University: Applied Physics Laboratory[1][3]*
  2. Pennsylvania State University: Applied Research Laboratory[1][3]*
  3. University of Texas at Austin: Applied Research Laboratories[1][3]*
  4. University of Washington: Applied Physics Laboratory[1][3]*
  5. University of Hawaii at Manoa: Applied Research Laboratory[1][3]


  1. NASA's funding of a UARC (September 2003 - July 2016) was replaced by NASA Academic Mission Services [4]


  1. NSA funded the University of Maryland, College Park Center for Advanced Study of Language[1] from 2003 - 2018.


  1. Stevens Institute of Technology: Systems Engineering Research Center[1]
  2. University of Maryland, College Park: Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security[1] -- Formerly the NSA-sponsored Center for Advanced Study of Language, ARLIS was rescoped in April 2018 with OSD as its sponsor.
  3. University of Alaska Fairbanks: University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute[1]


  1. University of Nebraska: National Strategic Research Institute[1]

[*] Denotes one of the six originally designated DoD UARCs

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Federally Funded Research and Development Centers and University Affiliated Research Centers". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  2. ^ "Contract Vehicles". Georgia Tech Research Institute. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  3. ^ a b c d e "SeaPort: List of Prime Contractors". Naval Sea Systems Command. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  4. ^ "NASA Awards Academic Mission Services Contract". NASA. Retrieved 2017-02-13.

External links[edit]